Barnsley-born film-maker Rowan Athale returns to old college to inspire students

Barnsley Sixth Form College students were treated to an insight into the world of film and television from award-winning director and screenwriter Rowan Athale.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 7:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 1:30 pm
Rowan Athale (centre) with Barnsley Sixth Form College students Chloe Nightingale, Ethan Amos, Eleanor Hall and Jake Van Der Hulst

Rowan, a former student at the college, progressed from being a runner on a film production set to making television adverts before writing, directing and producing his debut film The Rise, which earned him a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Award.

He then directed the feature-length films Strange But True and Little America.

Rowan, aged 38, returned to his home town to speak to the students about his career and the cinematic influences which have inspired his work, also answering questions on the future of the film industry and the experience of working with his idol, Sylvester Stallone.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rowan said: “I hope the students gained an insight into the inner workings of film and television and what lies ahead for them should they choose to work in the industry.

“I was honest about how difficult the path to becoming a film-maker would be for them while also encouraging them to understand that ‘difficult’ doesn’t mean impossible.

“If they are aware of the hard work ahead and still passionately want to become film-makers, they have won half the battle.

“I learned that young people have a passion for and a sophisticated understanding of film and the industry, which is hugely encouraging.”

*For more information on courses at the college, there’s an open evening on Thursday, January 30 from 4pm to 7pm.

Alternatively, visit, call 01226 216 123 or email [email protected]